Hawaii is preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Lane, as parts of the Big Island copped 19 inches of rain in 24 hours.
Government officials and work crews for the State of Hawaii and four island counties representing the City and County of Honolulu, Maui County, County of Kauai and County of Hawaii are putting in vigorous, around-the-clock efforts statewide to protect residents and visitors from the effects of the hurricane.
CNN reports the outer bands of the category four cyclone hit the Big Island yesterday, triggering landslides and flooding that forced road closures.
Hawaii Governor David Ige yesterday signed an emergency proclamation, as did mayors for each of the counties, which eases the process for each of the government entities to perform emergency management functions to protect people and support recovery efforts.
This includes shelters being opened, schools closed, streams cleared, and emergency equipment, food and other assets pre-positioned to help people and communities cope with the effects of Hurricane Lane.
“This is a dangerous hurricane that is a very serious threat to Hawaii,” George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, said.
Currently, a hurricane warning is in effect for the island of Hawaii, as well as the islands of Maui, Lanai and Molokai, which means that hurricane conditions are expected within a specified area. A hurricane watch is in effect for Oahu and Kauai, which means that hurricane conditions are possible.
Hawaii Tourism Authority said residents and visitors are strongly encouraged to be prepared with access to a supply of food and water and take shelter as the hurricane passes the islands until the all clear is given.
Extremely high winds, dangerous surf, torrential rainfall and flash flooding on all islands are all potential threats.
“Everyone should focus on staying safe and avoiding any situation that puts them in harm’s way. The state and counties are working collaboratively to bring all of our government resources to bear to protect our people and communities,” Szigeti said.
“Visitors should heed the advice of civil defence officials, as well as our airline, hotel and tourism industry professionals as they do a consistently excellent job of taking care of guests during times of crisis.
“Visitors who have trips planned to Hawaii should check with their airline and accommodation providers to see if travel adjustments need to be made.”